Updated 12:25 p.m.
Somewhere in the infrastructure of Apple’s mobile ecosystem, something has broken.
Last year, iPhone and iPad users upgraded in droves to the company’s new operating system, iOS 7. Just a week after its release, more than half had moved to the new system. A month after, more than 75 percent had made the jump.
This year, the release of Apple’s newest mobile operating system, iOS 8, isn’t quite going like that. That system came out more than a month ago, but, according to the analytics firm Mixpanel, yesterday was the first day more than half of users were registered as using it. It overtook iOS 7 only last week. Before that, it had lingered in the 45-percent area for weeks.
Thanks to this exclusive chart from Mixpanel, we can now see what those two upgrade cycles look like next to each other.
Comparing iOS 7 and iOS 8 Adoption Rates
There’s been a big, sticky gap between iOS 7 and iOS 8 upgrade rates.
This is more than a hiccup for Apple. The company promises that its hardware and software “just work,” but that tight integration requires consumers to upgrade every year. Perhaps this indicates more and more people sticking with older hardware rather than buying the newest phones—and avoiding the software upgrade due to worries it won't work on their older device. The chart also includes phones so old they can’t upgrade at all. The premier Apple blogger John Gruber called the lagging upgrades “very worrisome,” adding that they were “a canary-in-the-coal-mine indicator that casual users no longer trust Apple with major iOS updates.”